The economic costs of British planning: unaffordable housing and lost employment and productivity

Hosted by the Centre for Economic Performance and Department of Geography and Environment

In-person and online public event (Old Theatre, Old Building)


Stephen Aldridge

Stephen Aldridge

Dame Kate Barker

Dame Kate Barker

Professor Paul Cheshire

Professor Paul Cheshire

Lord Wolfson


Professor Lord Layard

Professor Lord Layard

It is 40 years since Paul Cheshire began to investigate the economic effects of our land use planning system and 20 years since Kate Barker published her first review of the impact of planning on housing supply. Their insights have helped us understand what can be done to ensure decent housing for all and boost productivity – but, after three failed attempts at significant planning reform - we are now in a time of economic stagnation and facing a housing affordability crisis that is only becoming more desperate as interest rates rise.

This event will bring together some of the key contributors to this long running debate and underline LSE’s commitment to engage in this important public policy issue.

Meet our speakers and chair

Stephen Aldridge is Chief Economist and Director of the Analysis and Data Division at the Department for Levelling Up Housing & Communities. He was previously Chief Economist and then Director of the Strategy Unit in the Cabinet Office. He is a Continuing Policy Fellow at the Centre for Science and Policy at Cambridge, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a member of the What Works National Advisory Council.

Kate Barker (@Barker4Kate) is Chairman of Trustees for the British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme, and Chair-Elect of the Universities Superannuation Scheme. She is an NED at Man Group plc, and (until July 2020) at Taylor Wimpey plc. she also chairs the Jersey Fiscal Policy Panel. Kate was an external member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee for three terms between 2001-2010.

Paul Cheshire is Professor Emeritus of Economic Geography at LSE. He was a member of the Board of the National Housing & Planning Advice Unit and of two of the DCLG former Expert Panels and continues to act regularly as a consultant to the MHCLG. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and of the Weimer School of Advanced Studies in Real Estate and Land Economics and won the Royal Economic Society's Best Paper prize in 2005 and the EIB-ERSA Prize in 2009.

Simon Wolfson is Chief Executive of the clothing retailer Next plc, as well as a Conservative life peer.

Richard Layard is Emeritus Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and currently heads the CEP's Wellbeing research programme.

More about this event

This event will be available to watch on LSE Live. LSE Live is the new home for our live streams, allowing you to tune in and join the global debate at LSE, wherever you are in the world. If you can't attend live, a video will be made available shortly afterwards on LSE's YouTube channel.

The Centre for Economic Performance (@CEP_LSE) carries out policy-focused research on the causes of economic growth and effective ways to create a fair, inclusive and sustainable society.

The Department of Geography and Environment (@LSEGeography) is a centre of international academic excellence in economic, urban and development geography, environmental social science and climate change.

Explore LSE’s dedicated hub Understanding the UK Economy, showcasing research and expertise on the state of the UK economy, its global context and its future.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEPlanning

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